Does where you live affect whether or not you might stop driving?

The Center’s forthcoming “Future of Transportation” study found many regional differences concerning whether Americans with driver’s licenses would stop driving and why they might do so.

Overall, 14 percent of Americans with a driver’s license would consider giving up driving. However, when this group is analyzed by region, the numbers change (right): 14 percent overall rises to 20 percent for people living in the West, stays flat with 14 percent living in the South, and drops to nine percent for those living in the Northeast or Midwest.

Why would Americans with licenses stop driving? Reasons vary by region (below). Seventy-five percent of those in the Northeast said they might give up driving because of public transportation, compared to 52 percent of drivers in the west, 40 percent in the Midwest, and 36 percent in the South who cited the same reason.

Emerging technologies and services also play a role in a possible decision to stop driving. For example, the possibility that Americans with a driver’s license could travel in self-driving cars in the near future was reported as a reason to give up driving by 40 percent of those in the Midwest, 38 percent of respondents in the West, 29 percent in the South, and 25 percent in the Northeast.

Large percentages also said they would consider giving up driving because get-a-ride services such as Uber and Lyft were accessible: 50 percent in the South, 44 percent in the Northeast, 40 percent in the Midwest, and 36 percent in the West cite this reason.

And even though get-a-ride services play a prominent role in the reasons why Americans in all regions would give up driving, Americans are not as enthusiastic about traditional taxis or limousine services, with 25 percent in the Northeast reporting that reason, 20 percent in the Midwest, 17 percent in the West, and only seven percent in the South.

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July 14, 2017